First Presbyterian Church

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First Presbyterian Church, Hayfield Minnesota

We exist to connect people to Jesus and each other

Hello Hayfield FPC!

A Message from the Pastor


It is good to be in Minnesota, and it’s definitely ‘cool’ to be here. Lesley and I are so thankful for the warm hospitality you all have provided in our first week here in Hayfield! I have met many of you and hopefully will meet many more in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime I wanted to write this note of greeting and give you a little more information about who the Vander Waals are.

We come to Hayfield by way of Midland, MI, which was our home for nine years, but Lesley and I have both called the Iowa/Minnesota area our home for most of our lives. I was born in Pella, IA, where my parents still reside, and my siblings are in the Des Moines area. Lesley moved from Iowa to Mankato, MN when she was four, and her parents and brothers are still in that area today. We were married in Mankato in 2002 and spent our first year of marriage in Denver, CO as I started seminary, but we came back closer to home in 2003 and lived just south of St Paul until 2006, as I attended and graduated from Bethel Seminary. I served as pastor of Second Reformed Church in Pekin, IL for four and a half years as my first ordained call as pastor. My second call was to Midland where I served as the Family Pastor at Midland Reformed Church for nine years.

Lesley is a graduate of Augustana in Sioux Falls, SD. In our first years of marriage while I was in seminary she worked as an Activities Coordinator for a nursing home in Denver and then did administrative work for the VA in Minneapolis. For most of the time since then she has been the Home Manager for our family which started its expansion about 15 years ago when Drew was born. Reed joined the team a couple years later and, after a little break of four plus years, Ruby came along as our only Michigan born member. They will be starting their Hayfield Viking experience at the start of second semester as 9th, 7th, and 2nd graders. They all enjoy reading and video games and I probably shouldn’t share anymore since they are at that age where Dad says embarrassing things.

I hope that 2022 is starting off well for you, and if it works out in your schedule, I would love to meet so that I might get to know our FPC family better. I’m happy to come to you or meet at church or somewhere in between (but probably not outside right now). It doesn’t have to be fancy; I actually prefer non-fancy. You will probably learn that, in general, I lean towards the casual and some have even said I am ch…frugal. Feel free message me. If I don’t hear from you, you just may hear from me.

Looking forward to our time together,

Brad Vander Waal (you can call me Brad or Pastor Brad or Rev, I’m not really picky)